SATANIC NORTH - Satanic North

May 16, 2024, a month ago

(Reaper Entertainment)

By Nick Balazs

Rating: 6.5

review black death satanic north

SATANIC NORTH - Satanic North

"Stop the mid-tempo, let's bring back the blastbeats." Irony is in place with Satanic North's motto as the standout track on their self-titled debut is the lumbering, mid-tempo groove of “Vultures”. The descending notes create a menacing atmosphere before exploding into that blastbeat up-tempo madness in the mid-section, however it's that main groove and riff in the slower sections that absolutely slays.

Satanic North is an interesting concept with two Ensiferum members (vocalist Petri Lindroos, playing bass band proving backup vocals on here, and drummer Janne Parviainen) fostering a need for a classic, dangerous sounding black metal record. No folk metal found on here, I can assure you. So these Finnish lads have basically constructed a record influenced by ‘90s Norwegian BM.

The production is “cleaner” than those early ‘90s efforts, but the guitars are razor sharp and the bass has potency that jumps out in the tracks. Vocalist Von Occult is demonic with his throaty screeches that at times has an echo effect on them. Fair to say this record was met with a certain amount of trepidation with two guys associated with folk, melodic death metal composing this style of music.

The lyrical tropes are there – war, famine, defaming God, praising Satan, but it doesn’t come off as parody, except “Four Demons” is a bit silly. Satanic North however goes hard musically. The thrash, punk-ish break in “Arise” hits that pocket fast and hard as well as the 3 minute razor sharp “Hatred And Blasphemy”. Definite Watain vibes in that one.

“Wolf” has a horror inspired motif and the Finnish language sung “Kohti Kuolemaa” dominates with an oppressive atmosphere and delicate use of melody. Closer and title track possesses a black/punk/speed metal vibe ala Midnight and Venom’s “Black Metal”.

At 10 tracks and 37 minutes, Satanic North captures a vibe from the past and brings it to the present. The base is there and on album number two they should unleash the full arsenal. 

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